You pays your money and you takes your choice, really.
TSS is rare. It happens, but it's rare.
The basic thing to remember is this: the longer you have a tampon in, the higher your risk of TSS.
REMEMBER: Risk does not mean that something is GOING to happen, it just means that it COULD.
If you want to use tampons overnight, and you are willing to assume the higher risk that a rare, but very bad, thing could happen because you do, go right ahead. It's a lot like other things in life -- do you choose to drive your car when you're tired, even though you know that sleepy drivers have a higher risk of car crashes? do you decide to eat that tuna salad sandwich that's a week old, even though you know there's a higher risk that it might give you food poisoning?
Depending on your tolerance of risk and your fear of the potential consequences if that risk happened to become an actuality, you may make different choices under different circumstances.
TSS is a serious illness. It could potentially be fatal. Obviously -- as with driving cars when we're tired -- sometimes we choose to make decisions that raise our risk level. We also know that the only truly safe sex is masturbation -- condoms fail, and STDs can be transmitted many ways -- but many of us still choose to have sex with partners.
We do it because we know that risk doesn't mean that something is necessarily going to happen, though there is a chance that it might. We do it because where there is a risk of something bad happening, there is often also a benefit we might derive from doing that risky thing. So we take risks.
The important thing is being well-educated and knowledgeable. That's what lets you turn unmanageable risk into managed and much more reasonable risk. Being knowledgeable lets you assess how much risk you are taking and choose to do it or not do it. Being knowledgeable lets you know what the warning signs are if something goes wrong. Being knowledgeable means you know how to take action if it does. And most of all, being knowledgeable means that you take responsibility for taking your own risks.
Like I said, you pays your money and you takes your choice.
Associate Editor, Scarleteen
"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted